Judge Chester A Ray served the county as Prosecuting Attorney from 1947 to 1951 and 1957 to 1960 and 20th Circuit Court judge from 1967 to 1970. He passed away before the end of his term, Judge Wendell Miles being appointed to fill out the remainder of it.
Judge Ray was a co-founder, along with attorney Ethol W Stone, of the Allegan County Community Foundation. The aim of the foundation is to assist the poor of Allegan County and was endowed principally through a $1.2 million codicil in Stone’s will, executed in 1970.
The foundation’s Chester A Ray Center for Men, a drug and alcohol recovery facility, is the late judge’s legacy to the region. “The program consists of four phases during a 16 –month period that guides participants through require-ments to pay court fines and costs, drug testing, cur-few, case review, probation meetings, substanceabuse treatment and education.” A few testimonials…
“Chester A Ray was great, I will recommend this place to everyone! The counseling is great and I’ve learned how to live life comfortably and the staff are friendly and very helpful.”
“At Chester A Ray, I found recovery. I could fill a book of gratitude to you all!”
- http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/ray.html#900.51.35; “Allegan County Officials,” Kalamazoo Valley Family News Letter 2(1), (Sep 1972).
- James Townsend; in Ann Paeth, “Oral History Interview with James Townsend,” Sesquicentennial Oral History Project: 150 Stories for 150 Years (15 Jul 1997), 9.
- “Lawyer Gives County Folks $1.2 Million,” Sarasota Journal (26 Jan 1970): 15.
- Ottagan Addictions Recovery (2nd Quarter, 2007)